Delaware Lawmakers Introduce Longshot Cannabis Legalization Bills

Gov. John Carney has remained steadfastly opposed to legalization.

Democratic lawmakers in Delaware have again introduced a pair of bills that would legalize adult-use cannabis. At first blush, the attempt appears likely doomed, primarily because Gov. John Carney has remained steadfastly opposed to legalization.

Carney vetoed a bill in 2022 that would have legalized marijuana, the Delaware News Journal reported, making it a longshot for any such attempt this year. An effort to override Carney’s veto last year also hit a wall, and he’ll be in office until January 2025.

A spokesman for Carney told the Journal that the governor’s views on cannabis have not changed, but that isn’t stopping state lawmakers.

“We have some new members; we have some new energy,” prime sponsor Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark/Brookside, told the Journal. “And I think a lot of (lawmakers) realize that I’m just not going to let this go.”

Of the two bills introduced, one would legalize possession and use of small amounts of cannabis for individuals, and the other would establish a legal industry.

But, Osienski admitted, he has a lot of politicking to do to get the bills signed into law.

“My hope is that with continued open dialogue with the governor’s office, that will help alleviate a veto,” he said. “I have more support from my members … for a veto override, but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.”

John Schroyer


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